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Alexandra Papadopoulou

Alexandra Papadopoulou

University of Geneva


Dr Alexandra K. Papadopoulou received her Dental Degree, Specialty Degree in Oral Surgery, Specialty Degree in Orthodontics and PhD from the School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

She is currently a Senior Research and Academic staff in the Division of Orthodontics of the University of Geneva, Switzerland while she has also served for seven years as a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Orthodontics of the University of Sydney, Australia.

Dr Papadopoulou has supervised several Doctorates in Dentistry and Higher Research Degree projects (Masters and PhDs). She has published numerous research papers in high impact, peer-reviewed journals receiving prizes for her contribution to the specialty’s research. Her main research interests focus on the efficacy of dentofacial orthopaedic treatment, skeletal anchorage devices, 3D diagnosis and treatment planning, the effects of orthodontic interventions on the upper airways and the management of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).


Orthodontics, upper airways and sleep apnoea: Linking anatomy, diagnosis and management with 3D technology.


Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder with serious medical sequelae that affects both adults and children. Despite the relatively high prevalence of OSA, the majority of patients with moderate to severe OSA still remain undiagnosed while the serious general health issues that accompany the syndrome highlight the importance of prompt diagnosis and management.

It is advocated that several orthodontic interventions have a positive impact on the anatomy and function of the upper airways and indirectly on breathing and OSA management; however, the evidence is controversial.

The aim of the presentation is to focus and discuss on the quality of current evidence regarding orthodontics and its effects on the upper airways and OSA.


  • Discuss the prevalence, signs and symptoms of OSA and present validated diagnostic screening tools for patients at risk in the orthodontic practice.
  • Discuss the evidence on the three-dimensional (3D) anatomy of the upper airways within different craniofacial patterns.
  • Present the effects of dentofacial orthopaedics on the upper airways and paediatric OSA.
  • Present the effects and side effects of conservative measures as well as more invasive approaches on adults with OSA.
  • Discuss the quality of the available evidence and future research perspectives.

Learning outcomes

The clinicians will be able to:

  • Incorporate validated tools in orthodontic clinical practice to screen and identify patients at risk of OSA for their prompt and further referral to medical specialists.
  • Identify the possibility of a diagnostic link between the 3D upper airway morphology with the sagittal and vertical skeletal patterns.
  • Develop critical thinking towards the existing literature regarding orthodontic interventions, upper airways and OSA including the biologic limitations.
  • Appreciate the need for a multidisciplinary approach in the management of cases with upper airway problems and OSA.